Flagstaff Community Reforestation

Sponsors and Partners:

White Mountain Apache Tribal Forestry, Northern Arizona University, Inmate Nature Rehabilitation Program, Koho for Hopi, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, Mt Elden Middle School, Alpine Academy, Pine Forest School, Flagstaff Junior Academy, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Puente De Hozo Elementary School, Audobon, National Forest Foundation, Coconino National Forest, City of Flagstaff Open Lands, City of Flagstaff Sustainability Office, TerraBirds, National Park Service, Arbor Day Foundation, National Forest Foundation.

Project Duration: 2015 - Current

Project Overview

Flagstaff Community Reforestation

The Land:

In collaboration with Coconino National Forest, the City of Flagstaff, and local schools and community groups, we are working to restore landscapes impacted by wildfire and weeds. In this area, forest fires have impacted over 200,000 acres, resulting in flooding in the urban core. To promote a sense of actuation – the ability to solve environmental problems that often seem overwhelming to people – we invite the community to participate in reforestation.

The People:

Although much of the landscape around Flagstaff is managed by the Forest Service, there is a growing interest by the public to be involved in forest management. To this end, we have brought tens of thousands of youth, adult volunteers, and community groups, to participate in tree planting. It is our hope that by connecting people to landscapes through participatory action that they will value nature more and make better land stewardship decisions.

The Restoration:

We have planted over 400,000 conifer trees in this region. Primarily, we are working in Coconino National Forest and in the City of Flagstaff. In addition to the post-fire reforestation, we are also working to restore urban parks, especially along riparian corridors and popular hiking trails.

The urban parks and trails are hubs that link community involvement from the urban to our more “wildland” post-fire restoration efforts in the National Forest. Linking urban and forest landscapes through these relational networks is a key element of our program – providing greater opportunities to invite public participation in taking care of nature.

Importantly, our program is dedicated to providing youth opportunities to plant trees. Our EcoKids program has included participation by over 2,000 youth and they have planted over 25,000 trees. This teaches our community that humans can have a positive impact on the environment and solve complex environmental challenges.